desolate prospects. I have kept a sort of resolution which I made, of not writing to you as long as I staid in France : I am now a quarter of an hour out of it, and write to you. Mind, 'tis three months since we heard from you. I begin this letter among the clouds; where I shall finish, rny neighbour Heaven probably knows: 'tis an odd wish in a mortal letter, to hope not to finish it on this side the atmosphere. You will have a billet tumble to you from the stars when you least think of it; and that I should write it too ! Lord, how potent that sounds! But I am to undergo many transmigrations before I come to 'yours ever.' Yesterday I was a shepherd of Dauphine; to-day an Alpine savage ; to-morrow a Carthusian monk ; and Friday a Swiss Calvinist. I have one quality which I find remains with me in all worlds and in all aethers; I brought it with me from your world, and am admired for it in this—'tis my esteem for you : this is a common thought among you, and you wilt laugh at it, but it is new here: as new to remember one's friends in the world one has left, as for you to remember those you have lost.
Aix in Savoy, Sept. 80th.
We are this minute come in here, and here's an awkward abbe this minute come in to us. I asked him if he would sit down. Oui, oui, oui. He has ordered us a radish soup for supper, and has brought a chess-board to play with Mr. Con way. I have left 'em in the act, and am set down to write to you. Did you ever see anything like the prospect we saw yesterday? I never did. We rode three leagues to see the Grande Chartreuse*: expected bad roads and the finest convent in the kingdom. We were disappointed pro
LETTER 20.—l About thirty-seven miles from Q-renoble. On revisiting the Chartreuse (in August 1741, after
his parting from Horace Walpole) Gray wrote in the visitors' book the Alcaic Ode printed in his Works.